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Tribal First, a specialized program of Alliant Specialty Insurance Services, Inc., is the largest provider of insurance solutions to tribal nations. Because tribally owned businesses operate under separate federal laws, they require special insurance. Tribal First was established to satisfy this need.
Today, Tribal First provides general liability, workers’ compensation, property insurance, and employee benefits to more than 400 tribal clients. All claims are managed by Tribal First’s in-house TPA department using Ventiv Claims (formerly called iVOS), which the company has used since 2001.
We sat down with Tribal First’s Ventiv Claims administrator, Lindsay Chapin, to talk about Tribal First’s use of Ventiv Claims and how their use of the system has evolved over time.
It’s all about the automation nowadays. It’s a big priority for us to get everything into notes or our calendars. Having business rules to manage all of those things has been extremely helpful.
LINDSAY CHAPIN, TRIBAL FIRST
WHEN TRIBAL FIRST INITIALLY ADOPTED Ventiv Claims in 2001, Lindsay Chapin was one of only a handful of people using the system, which was simply being used for data entry and document scanning.
“At that time, we were still very much a mom-and pop shop,” Chapin explains. “We were just beginning and still building. There were maybe four claims adjusters at the time.” Seventeen years later, Tribal First has more than 100 internal Ventiv Claims users and has customized the system to serve as their TPA’s right hand.
“Tribal First has done a lot of growing throughout that time, and we’ve been able to mold the system to do the things we’ve needed it to do,” Chapin says. “If something new comes up, then I work with our friends at Ventiv to figure out how to do it. For example, we recently brought on a new line of insurance. We were able to figure all of that out with the technology we currently have. There really hasn’t been a business need that has come up that we haven’t been able to solve with the existing technology.”
Although Tribal First is the clear leader in their sector of the market, the company continuously pushes to improve the experience for their customers. Chapin talked to us about some of the key ways their team uses Ventiv Claims to accomplish this goal.
Tribal First uses business rules in Ventiv Claims to automate all kinds of processes that would otherwise be done manually.
“It’s all about the automation nowadays,” Chapin states. “It’s a big priority for us to get everything into notes or our calendars. Having business rules to manage all of those things in Ventiv Claims has been extremely helpful.”
Below are some of the rules the Tribal First team has set up.
Chapin describes how business rules enable Tribal First to provide a better customer experience: “The rules we have in place allow us to move at the speed our clients expect and to manage claims based on their specific needs and rules.”
To further enhance the customer experience, Tribal First offers their clients a unique capability: the ability to log into the system. This enables clients to enter their own claims, view claim status, and review notes. Tribal First gets consistently positive feedback on this functionality and reports stronger relationships between clients and adjusters because of it.
Chapin describes this as a key selling point to customers, “Even though it may seem like a little thing, it is a differentiator; it sets us apart.”
When Tribal First initially adopted Ventiv Claims, the company did not want to devote the resources to hosting the system on its own, so Ventiv hosting was a no-brainer. Not long after, however, Tribal First was acquired by Alliant Insurance Services, one of the nation’s largest insurance brokers. Though Alliant was fully equipped to host the system themselves, they chose to continue with Ventiv hosting.
“As a company, we have our technology resources going in so many different directions, that it has been great to rely on Ventiv for hosting,” Chapin explains. “Ventiv handles upgrades, changes that need to be made on the back end, and any other issues that arise.”
By letting Ventiv handle the hosting, the Tribal First team can focus more of its efforts on its core business. Says Chapin: “Ventiv’s hosting of the system has been a non-issue for us, which is exactly what we want.”
We spoke with Chapin about Tribal First’s plans going forward. Their team, she said, was very much looking forward to the new features available now.
“I’m personally most excited about the ability for users to create reports on the fly and add different fields,” says Chapin. “The fact that they will be able to go in and manage this for themselves will free up my time and give me the opportunity to work on other projects.”
Chapin describes further plans to set up dashboards for clients: “It’s a huge thing to be able to provide our clients. They always ask about different types of reports and graphs. Everybody wants to see stuff in color. I think it’s something that they will definitely benefit from a lot, especially for their own internal meetings.”
In addition to expanding their use of Ventiv Claims, Chapin also described her team’s interest in exploring the use of Ventiv IRM.
“As we’ve gotten more information on Ventiv IRM (formerly called RiskConsole Advance) in the last few months, our claims adjusters have recognized that it might be a very useful solution for our clients who are risk managers,” Chapin explains. “We could restructure our users and move some of them over to Ventiv IRM. It would be a big change from the way we’ve always done things, but I think it’s good to shake it up, especially when there’s all this great new technology to take advantage of.”
Finally, on their relationship working with Ventiv going forward, Chapin offers her thoughts: “Provided Ventiv maintains the same commitment to customer service and growing the technology, we will be on board. It’s nice to be able to say, even though there’s challenges, as there is with any piece of software, it has been a very nice working relationship and it continues to get better.”
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